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Is it farewell Paul Daley?

RALLYING CALL: Daley

MIXED MARTIAL Art’s (MMA) Paul Daley has said his next fight in Manchester could be the last time fans get to see him compete in an MMA bout on these shores.

Daley, 31, told the Voice of Sport that he knows very little about his opponent Igor Fernandes for the BAMMA showcase on September 13 at the Victoria Warehouse, Manchester. Daley has now encouraged all fight fans that have supported his journey over the years to get down to the venue, as this may be the last time he fights in Britain.

He said: “I’ve got two coaches coming from Nottingham for this fight, people are coming out for this one because it would be the last time I fight MMA in this country.”

He added: “The contract I am pursuing will probably be my last stop in mixed martial arts. I might do kick boxing for a while longer but the next contract will probably be my last one.

“I really hope I can be what I need to be and become one of the first British fighters to hold a significant belt with a big American based international promotion. I think I can do that and for me it will be a good way to leave the mixed martial arts scene.”

Looking at the prospect of taking on Fernandes, Daley said the fight would go the way of most of his victories. “I don’t really know too much about him to be honest, I do know that he is a submission guy.

“I don’t really rate knowing people anyway, it doesn’t matter. He is insignificant and as long as I am training and doing what I need to do then I don’t really need to know much about him.

“I’m going to knock him out. Every time I’ve been asked that question my whole career I’ve always said the same thing. I have to stop my opponent decisively without the need for judges or anything like that. So, I am going to knock him
out and I am pretty successful at doing that.”

Daley’s unceremonious split from the UFC in 2010 left the Nottingham-born athlete in a place where few fighters would have been able to continue their career.

Having bounced back from that particular setback he says that everything happens for a reason and he is proud of where he finds himself today.

“I am more than happy with where I am at. I think that the fact I did things a little differently before I got to the UFC meant that I can sustain myself in the sport, doing what I love, which is fighting.”

He continued: “I’m running a gym, fighting, bringing on new fighters and earning money fighting around the world.
rebirth

“I don’t think many other fighters would have been able to do that and right now I am about to experience a bit of a rebirth by securing a contract with a big American promotion. My visa is back so I will be in the States real soon.

“I could have been in a much worse situation. There are other big fighters out there who struggle to keep ticking over in between big promotions. I don’t have to do that. In the mid-term I have opened up a new gym, I am growing and bringing on new fighters and still been winning pay cheques around the world because people still want to know what I am doing.

“Not many people could do that having been kicked out of the UFC. I am happy, everything happens for a reason.”
BAMMA stage a fight night event at the Liverpool Olympia on August 2 but fans are eagerly awaiting Daley’s fight a month later.

He is coy about naming the promotion he could soon be fighting under but despite potentially looking towards pastures new he believes that the British MMA scene needs a boost in order to keep new fans gravitating towards the sport.

The KO specialist - 74 per cent of Daley's total wins have been achieved by KO or TKO) -said: “I’m happy with BAMMA, they put on good shows, have been on Channel Five and stuff like that but I think something new has to happen.
“I always say to people that for me Cage Rage was the pinnacle of not just British MMA but it had a place on the world scene. Cage Rage was at Wembley Arena in front of ten thousand people.

“The show had people like Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort on the fight cards and I don’t think even Cage Warriors, with their regular output shows, can match Cage Rage.

“I think Cage Rage was by far the biggest point in British MMA. So yeah, it needs something different, it's reached a plateau and there is no energy. Unless I’m fighting on the bill then things get interesting.”

Daley says his post MMA career will probably see him kick boxing a lot more. “I want to kick box for a while because I think it suits me better as I get older. I think the weight cut to 77kg when you’re older is not good.

“I handle it OK now and have done for my last six or seven fights but I’d like to stick at a heavier weight and do kick boxing once my new contract runs out.”

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